5 Tips for Good Sleep Hygiene for Kids

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Good sleep hygiene for kids is crucial and a total game-changer for their physical, emotional, and cognitive growth. I mean, can you even function without a good night’s rest?

The same goes for the little ones. A solid snooze helps them stay alert and focused during the day, improves their memory and learning, and strengthens their immune system. It even helps prevent long-term heart and blood sugar problems. Sleep is truly that important.

In this post, I’ve covered the importance of good sleep hygiene for kids, how to help them get a good night’s rest, and practical tips and strategies for ensuring your child gets the sleep they need to thrive. We’ll talk about everything from establishing a bedtime routine to creating a comfortable sleep environment.

good sleep hygiene for kids

What You Can Do to Establish Good Sleep Hygiene for Kids You Love

Establish a Regular Bedtime Routine

Establishing a regular bedtime routine is one of the most important things parents can do to ensure their child gets a good night’s sleep.

According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, it’s recommended that children aged 6-12 years old get nine to 12 hours of sleep per night. A consistent bedtime routine is an essential part of good sleep hygiene for kids and helps provide structure and gives the body the signal that it’s time to wind down and relax. It’s important to stick to the routine even if you go on vacation or are sleeping over at a relative’s house. If you have a special event that prevents you from putting your child to bed at his usual time, your child still needs the same routine to signal his brain to wind down for sleep.

It doesn’t need to be an elaborate routine. Keep it simple. Good sleep hygiene for kids can be just doing one or two things every night before bed, such as a bath and a story. Some other great ideas include:

  • a bedtime podcast, such as Circle Around
  • listening to soothing music
  • practicing mindfulness
  • prayer
  • massage, especially with lavender essential oil diluted with almond oil
  • for an older child, making a journal entry can be a great way to end the day
  • and you, the parent, telling your child about at least one thing they did today that you were proud of. Be specific. Don’t say, “You were a great kid today.” Instead, say, “Today, I really liked how you helped your brother tie his shoes. That really showed that you care.”

Establishing a regular bedtime routine will help ensure your child gets enough sleep and is better prepared for the day ahead.

Keep Bedroom Environment Conducive to Sleep

Creating a bedroom environment conducive to sleep is essential for good sleep hygiene for kids. Cleaning up the room before bedtime so that all the toys are out of sight can be a big help to preventing temptation. Better yet, if you have the space, consider keeping the toys in a playroom and the bedroom just for bed.

Another aspect of good sleep hygiene for kids is one that isn’t thought of often. Allergies. Thick carpets and fuzzy animals harbor dust, which can create breathing problems in sensitive children. Consider also that scented laundry detergent can cause rashes and breathing problems also. So, sometimes kids have trouble sleeping because their little bodies are dealing with allergic reactions. You may want to switch to an allergen free laundry detergent.

Next, consider the child’s age, interests, and needs when creating the ideal sleep space. This can include removing other distractions from the bedroom, such as televisions and computers. It can also mean ensuring a comfortable temperature and providing blackout curtains to block light. If your child is sensitive to noise, try using white noise machines to block out the dog barking, people talking down the hall, etc. while they are trying to get to sleep.

And finally, good sleep hygiene for kids with ADHD, sensory processing disorder, or autism may include a weighted blanket.

Encourage Plenty of Physical Activity During the Day

Encouraging physical activity during the day can significantly impact your child’s sleep. Exercise helps to tire your child out, making it easier for them to get a good night’s rest. It also helps regulate their circadian rhythm, which is essential for good sleep hygiene for kids.

By getting your child involved in physical activities such as sports, outdoor play, or even a walk around the neighborhood, you can ensure they are more likely to get the rest they need each night.

Limit Screen Time Before Bedtime

Ensuring your children get a good night’s sleep is essential for their physical and mental well-being. One of the ways that parents can do this is by limiting kids’ screen time before bedtime. Recent studies have shown that limiting screen time before bed can help children fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and feel refreshed. After all, exposure to screens signals the brain that it is daytime, so it is counterproductive to look at screens when you’re trying to wind down for sleep.

So, to instill good sleep hygiene for kids, parents need to set firm limits on devices later in the day. By setting a regular bedtime and turning off the TV, computer, and other screens at least an hour before sleep, parents can help their children develop healthy sleep habits and get the rest they need.

Teach Relaxation Techniques to Promote Good Sleep Hygiene for Kids

When kids struggle to fall asleep, teaching them relaxation techniques can be an effective way of helping them rest. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, and guided imagery can help your kids relax their minds and bodies before bedtime, leading to better sleep. These techniques can be done as part of a nightly routine to help them get the rest they need for a healthy lifestyle.

To sum up, implementing good sleep hygiene for kids is essential to their overall well-being.

Getting a good night’s rest is often associated with better physical health, mental health, and academic performance.

So ensure your children have a consistent sleep schedule, a comfortable sleeping environment, and limited exposure to electronic devices before bed. These steps will help them get the rest they need to be their best selves.

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